PASIG CITY – Sixth seed Marinerong Pilipino forced a winner take all match for the remaining semifinal slot in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup by stalling third seed Tanduay Rhum, 74-72, at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday (August 3). The decider will be played on Tuesday (August 8) at the same venue starting at 4:00 PM.
New recruit Robert Herndon made the most out of his second chance by scattering 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in his first game after transferring from also ran Wang’s Basketball. John Ray Alabanza who like Herndon came off the bench provided great support with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Achie Inigo hit the biggest shot of the game as his field goal put the Skippers ahead by a pair, 73-71, and 1:53 on the game clock. James Martinez then put the Rhum Masters closer with a free throw split, 72-73, followed by both teams trading miscues and botched plays.
As the clock winded down, Jay-R Taganas forced to foul Inigo with two seconds remaining and Inigo responded by making his first but missing his second gift shot for the final score. Tanduay had one last chance as Taganas grabbed the defensive rebound but the desperation heave went nowhere.
Veteran Jerwin Gaco tried his best to carry the Rhum Masters with 14 points and five rebounds. Martinez and Lester Alvarez followed with 13 and 12 markers respectively.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will face second seed Cignal HD in the best of three semifinals. The other semifinal pairing will see undefeated top seed Flying V taking on fourth seed Centro Escolar University in a similar best of three series.
How They Scored:
MARINERONG PILIPINO (74) – Herndon 16, Alabanza 13, Lopez 8, Inigo 7, Subido 7, Sargent 6, Isip 6, Javelona 4, Gabriel 4, Marata 3, Javillonar 0.
TANDUAY RHUM (72) – Gaco 14, Martinez 13, Alvarez 12, Palma 7, Eguilos 5, Varilla 5, Sollano 5, Santos 4, Tambeling 3, Taganas 2, Villamor 2, Vigil 0.
Period Scores: 15-19, 34-36, 56-55, 74-72.